For finitely generated subgroups $H$ of a free group $F_m$ of finite rank $m$, we study the language $L_H$ of reduced words that represent $H$ which is a regular language. Using the (extended) core of Schreier graph of $H$, we construct the minimal deterministic finite automaton that recognizes $L_H$. Then we characterize the f.g. subgroups $H$ for which $L_H$ is irreducible and for such groups explicitly construct ergodic automaton that recognizes $L_H$. This construction gives us an efficient way to compute the cogrowth series $L_H(z)$ of $H$ and entropy of $L_H$. Several examples illustrate the method and a comparison is made with the method of calculation of $L_H(z)$ based on the use of Nielsen system of generators of $H$.

An erratum to this article is posted at https://gcc.episciences.org/page/errata This paper generalizes results of M. Moon on the fibering of certain compact 3-manifolds over the circle. It also generalizes a theorem of H. B. Griffiths on the fibering of certain 2-manifolds over the circle.

In [FGRS1,FGRS2] the relationship between the universal and elementary theory of a group ring $R[G]$ and the corresponding universal and elementary theory of the associated group $G$ and ring $R$ was examined. Here we assume that $R$ is a commutative ring with identity $1 \ne 0$. Of course, these are relative to an appropriate logical language $L_0,L_1,L_2$ for groups, rings and group rings respectively. Axiom systems for these were provided in [FGRS1]. In [FGRS1] it was proved that if $R[G]$ is elementarily equivalent to $S[H]$ with respect to $L_{2}$, then simultaneously the group $G$ is elementarily equivalent to the group $H$ with respect to $L_{0}$, and the ring $R$ is elementarily equivalent to the ring $S$ with respect to $L_{1}$. We then let $F$ be a rank $2$ free group and $\mathbb{Z}$ be the ring of integers. Examining the universal theory of the free group ring ${\mathbb Z}[F]$ the hazy conjecture was made that the universal sentences true in ${\mathbb Z}[F]$ are precisely the universal sentences true in $F$ modified appropriately for group ring theory and the converse that the universal sentences true in $F$ are the universal sentences true in ${\mathbb Z}[F]$ modified appropriately for group theory. In this paper we show this conjecture to be true in terms of axiom systems for ${\mathbb Z}[F]$.