Let denote a subring of the complex field that contains 1 and is closed under complex conjugation. It is shown that, with respect to the involution induced by word-reversal, the algebra over of a free monoid admits a trace and a separating family of star matrix representations. From the existence of a trace it is deduced that the aforementioned involution is special, in the sense of Easdown and Munn. Similar results hold for the algebra over of a free monoid with involution.
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