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Consider

見上げれば、星が宙をうねり、闇が覆っている。

If you look up, the stars are projected in the air, and the dark is spreading.

Here, I'm assuming 畝り is the continuative (masu-stem) version of 畝る, with 宙を acting as its direct object. But 畝る is listed as a non-transitive verb in my bilingual dictionary. Thus it can't take direct objects (を), no?

Is my dictionary just wrong about the transitivity of 畝る? Or can sometimes intransitive verbs still take direct objects in Japanese?

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  • Have you learned the use of を as a point-of-passage marker, as in 道路を走る?
    – aguijonazo
    Commented Jan 16, 2023 at 7:23
  • Whose translation is that?
    – Leebo
    Commented Jan 16, 2023 at 7:37
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    うねる is essentially never written with kanji btw Commented Jan 17, 2023 at 14:14
  • @Leebo: It's from IMABI.
    – George
    Commented Jan 18, 2023 at 18:14
  • @aguijonazo I wasn't aware of this usage of the particle until now.
    – George
    Commented Jan 18, 2023 at 18:15

1 Answer 1

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As mentioned in the comment, the を is indicating where the (collection of) stars run, as in 道路を走る/道を歩く/荒野を進む.

As a similar example, one can say 川が平野をうねる. As you can see in the picture, it means the river flows through the plain with lots of curves (meander?). 星が宙をうねる should mean basically the same thing about stars in the night sky.

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