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I could say is the diphthong made up of the open front unrounded vowel and the near-close near-front unrounded vowel. Is there a shorter name for that diphthong and other similar diphthongs?

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    I think the names of the diphthongs are just the diphthongs themselves. It is similar to the typical names of the vowel letters. May 23 '16 at 13:22
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Among phonemes in English, diphthongs, just like other vowels, may be referred to by the names of the corresponding lexical sets, e.g. FACE, NEAR.

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  • The problem is the lexical sets are phonemic, and depend on dialect. The PRICE vowel is not necessarily [aɪ].
    – No Name
    Jul 30 at 22:40
  • @NoName Lexical sets, are meant to be phonemic. Labelling each with a representative word means they don't depend much on dialect (or did you mean accent?). Equating each phoneme withe an IPA transcription would depend on accent a lot. If an IPA-based system suits the OP, I wonder what they want it for. I see "diphthong" used with reference to a sound in a language rather than a sound in the abstract.
    – Rosie F
    Jul 31 at 6:24
  • So we agree that they would not be good names for specific, phonetic diphthongs, which is what OP is asking about?
    – No Name
    Jul 31 at 12:55
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When reading and writing is taught at German schools, the diphthongs are learned as single units. They are named like the vowel letters A E I O U Ä Ö Ü: Their pronounced sound is identical to the name for AU, EI, and EU. The variants AI, ÄU, AY, and EY are named by spelling them out: A-I, Ä-U, A-Ypsilon, and E-Ypsilon.

An older and now obsolete convention used names like *weiches ei" (EI) vs. "hartes ei" (AI) and "fremdes weiches ei" (EY) or "fremdes hartes ei" (AY). Don't expect that the people in Germany now will understand the distinction "hartes" vs. "weiches" ei correctly any longer. They will think of eggs and just wonder.

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It depends on what you mean by "similar". Diphthongs like ai, au, ey, øi can be called "falling" diphthongs and ones like uo, ea, yæ can be called "rising" diphthongs. That refers to change in assumed sonority where a is said to be more sonorous that i.

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  • Change in sonority, yes, but this refers to relative prominence: loudness (and perhaps pitch). Not the quality of the vowel. [iə] as in "ear" is a falling one whereas [iu] as in "ewe" is a rising one.
    – Rosie F
    Jul 31 at 6:15
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I think the answer can be quite straightforward: no, the individual diphthongs do not have their own names. However, you can indeed (as user6726 answered), put a shorter label on the gliding process itself, instead of completely defining both vowels.

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