The components of finiteness (tense, mood, person and number) are scrutinized with reference to their influence on verb second word order. Semantic interpretations are assigned to basic properties of these categories, whose combination allows for a derivation of the main properties of (V2-)clauses in a compositional fashion. In particular, various uses of the notion as-sertion in the literature are investigated and analysed. We favour Frege’s analysis of the judgment and reconstruct the fronting of finiteness as anchoring a propositional object in the discourse situation, thereby modelling the grammatical basis of the notion at-issueness. The investigation is concerned with root as well as with dependent clauses.