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The definition of 募集【ぼしゅう】 given in an article by NHK News Web Easy is

人や作品などを、大勢の人に呼びかけて集めること.

I don't know what is the role of the に particle in that sentence, is it marking the subject of the action, or is it rethorical? How should it be interpreted?

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Santiago, 「大勢の人呼びかけて」 reads like a clause to me, within the sentence 「人や作品などを集めること.」 ... Although if that were the case I'm not sure why they wouldn't just write it as 「大勢の人呼びかけて、人や作品などを集めること.」

in any case, I parse this definition as "to gather people or items by calling out to a large group of people"

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    を集まる はダメです・・・「集る」は自動詞ですので・・・「集る」に直してあげてね・・・・・ – Chocolate Jun 9 '18 at 11:34
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In general the に{ni} particle has 2 main uses:

  • To mark a location:

駅{えき}います。

I am at the station.

  • To mark a recipient:

田中{たなか}さんは私{わたし}飴{あめ}をくれました。

Tanaka San gave candy to me.

私{わたし}は田中{たなか}さん英語{えいご}を教{おし}えました。

I taught English language to Tanaka San.

In the example, に is being used to mark a group of people as the recipient of this action. Perhaps to “shout” at, “call” to or to “rally” (e.g., “rally the troops”).

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