I have only rarely used reduplication, a process that is ubiquitous in natural languages. For Tsrai, I decided to use reduplication to indicate number, as a marginal process for nouns but the most common way for verbs.
I strongly favor very simple sound systems for my languages. Even if I have a large inventory of sounds, I keep the syllable structure quite simple and open, at most allowing resonant codas. So for Tsrai I've decided to use a moderately complex system, with a few more complex onset types allowed. This means my decision to use reduplication has resulted in some hefty tables of behavior. Of course, a recent exposure to Squamish may also have something to do with that. The big question was how to reduplicate syllables with complex onsets. I decided that since the second element of any complex onset is either an approximant or a resonant, to impose sound changes similar to Ancient Greek for such reduced syllables. For example tyar reduplicated is tityar (< *tytyar).
Other tendencies of the sound system are inspired by the Nobiin language.
I tend to favor VSO or SOV languages, so Tsrai is solidly SVO. I am also very fond of case marking, but for Tsrai I've gone isolating, using word order for syntax. I've taken inspiration from Yoruba and Vietnames (also SVO languages) and used certain particles to mark focus for fronting behavior, as in —
Lë ba gad dai I see this man.
Gad dai fë lë ba I see this man. (fë is the focus particle)
I decided to step away from my aspect obsession. Verbs are marked only for tense — a past vs. non-past distinction only in verb morphology — letting adverbs and verb auxiliaries take up the slack.
I briefly considered using some sort of ablaut change in verbs to make ergativity a lexical category, a la Classical Chinese. But that got too messy for other plans for the language, so I tossed it. The idea may reappear for transitivity matters.
I do want to include verb chaining, but this presents some interesting design questions. At the moment a verb's form may be changed in two ways. First, reduplication for plural subjects, as in këskóis from kóis sleep. Second, it may take the suffix -ta to indicate past tense. The suffix is prone to assimilation, so that the verb varag choose, select may appear as vëvarag (pl.), varakka (past) or vëvarakka (past pl.). The syntax questions right now for verb chaining are (1) do all verbs need to be marked for number and tense and (2) if not, would the first or the last verb set the number and tense for everyone else in the chain.