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BPJ wrote:
> Another possibility is that some instances of Old and Modern "s" were [ts]
> in an even older stage of the language and that either the orthography of
> the Old language underdifferentiated or the Modern standard language
> descends from a sister of the Old standard language which preserved the
> distinction.

Yassavran has /tsúvri/ "hammered dulcimer" > modern Yasaro /sûuri/, so 
that would work for "Yassavran" if it was actually "Yatsavran". Hmm, 
would that work for "Simikal" (< *Tsimikal)? Maybe so. It doesn't seem 
entirely implausible that initial /ts/ would change to /s/ in both 
languages.

As it is, it seems modern Yasaro has more words beginning with /s/ than 
with /h/, so it seems strange if all of those were /ts/ in Yassavran, 
but maybe some could be /ks/, /ps/, /st/, or some other clusters.