Lumpynose, I applaud the amount of thought that you're putting into this and you've raised some interesting points, but, as John pointed out, I think you're overlooking some things.
The term 'fermentation' is relatively vague and all encompassing, and, while it might be nice to have terms for each of the major processes occurring in dough, you can't just come along and say 'bacteria activity is fermentation' while 'yeast activity is leavening,' especially since you've overlooked a critical third process- enzyme activity. When Hammelman talks about "the flavor components in the dough prefer temperatures lower than that required for maximum gas production," this relates to enzyme activity favoring lower temps a little more than yeast activity and the byproducts that enzymes produce. No knead cold fermented breads are about enzyme activity, not bacterial. They're mostly about dough atrophy, not acid production.
Hair splitting is great. We need more of it. We just have to find the right hairs to split and split them the right way. I like yeast activity being confined to the single term 'leavening.' If you want to propose single words for 'bacteria activity' and 'enzyme activity,' let's do it. My wrists would appreciate the keystroke savings.
Regarding "Rising times with commercial yeasts" being "well known and documented," that's not the case at all. Yeast age, flour age, milling inconsistencies, wheat fluctuations, flour brand, protein content, humidity, moisture basis of the flour, water impurities, quantity/type of kneading, refrigerator temperature, container shape, size and material- these all impact rising times (and other variables). This why when a bread recipe denotes the quantity of yeast to use, you have to take it with a grain of salt. When it comes to yeast, no one can really tell someone else, "use x amount" and it will be perfect. You have to be the master of your own domain. You have to, to the best of your ability, control your own variables to be able to predict rising times.
And this is for non sourdough breads. When you start adding starter to the mix, the variables go through the roof. Maybe in 20 years it will be different, but, right now, when you make sourdough bread, unless you're doing it every single day like a bakery, you're going to be, to an extent, rolling the dice. In that aspect, it's kind of like the anti-thesis to programming
When I cook, I can get relatively right brained- a pinch of this, a pinch of that, let's see how it turns out, but when I bake, it's all pretty much left brain, exact and scientific. I want to be able to know pretty much exactly what's going to happen when I alter a recipe. This is why you will most likely never see me working with starters. I don't like surprises in bread